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January 22, 2009


Convert VCD movies to iPod with freeware

by Joe Kuan

ipodI have lots of VCD movies in my shelf. It would be nice converting these movies onto my iPod and watch them while exercising in gym. After googling how to convert the VCDs into iPod, most of the solutions were referring to non freewares (I suspect most of the replies are by the authors of those tools).
However, I don’t believe that is the only solution. Some people post it by simply renaming the .dat file to .mpg file. That is not entirely true either although pretty close.
Here is how I did it:

1. Installs Handbrake (Best tool for this job IMO)

2. Inserts the VCD and open the MPEGAV folder. Copy the .dat file to your folder.

Drag VCD file

3. Rename the file with .mpg extension

Rename file

4. Uses Handbrake, open the mpg file and convert it to H.264 – use iPod profile


5. Connect your iPod & drags the new .m4v file into the iPod on iTunes

Great thing is that Handbrake is available on both Mac & Windows.

Note: I have tried dragging the renamed mpg file directly into the Library on iTunes and selected ‘Advance’ -> ‘Create iPod or iPhone version’. However, I came across problems with this method:

  • could watch the movie on iPod but no audio
  • some frames are corrupted
10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 28 2009

    thanks for this

  2. DK
    Feb 22 2009

    How to rip VCD using handbrake to become only 1 file with chapter selection?

    • Joe Kuan
      Feb 22 2009

      I don’t think Handbrake capable of doing that. It’s an advance encoding tool and export to different media devices.

      My best guess is that if you can find a tool to convert VCD directly into DVD, then use handbrake.

  3. Kira
    Mar 21 2009

    This info is not very helpful

  4. ct
    Apr 18 2009

    When I open the MPG file, it showed “No Valid Title Found”

    • Joe Kuan
      Apr 18 2009

      Interesting, I have never come across this problem. What does it say when you run the command on ‘file <vcdfile>.DAT’?

      Here is my file command output:

      Joe@joe-kuans-macbook-pro:/Volumes/Disc 1/MPEGAV>ls -l
      total 1177660
      -rwxr-xr-x 1 Joe staff 3725612 14 Apr 2008 AVSEQ01.DAT
      -rwxr-xr-x 1 Joe staff 3318716 14 Apr 2008 AVSEQ02.DAT
      -rwxr-xr-x 1 Joe staff 595914524 14 Apr 2008 AVSEQ03.DAT
      Joe@joe-kuans-macbook-pro:/Volumes/Disc 1/MPEGAV>file *
      AVSEQ01.DAT: RIFF (little-endian) data, wrapped MPEG-1 (CDXA)
      AVSEQ02.DAT: RIFF (little-endian) data, wrapped MPEG-1 (CDXA)
      AVSEQ03.DAT: RIFF (little-endian) data, wrapped MPEG-1 (CDXA)

  5. ct
    Apr 22 2009

    Here is my log

    [22:59:35] hb_scan: path=/Users/ctmak/Desktop/AVSEQ01.MPG, title_index=0
    [22:59:35] thread 211bc00 started (“scan”)
    [22:59:35] scan: trying to open with libdvdread
    GUI ERROR dialog: dvd: DVDOpen failed (/Users/ctmak/Desktop/AVSEQ01.MPG)
    [22:59:35] scan: unrecognized file type
    [22:59:35] thread 211bc00 exited (“scan”)
    [22:59:35] thread 211bc00 joined (“scan”)
    [22:59:35] libhb: scan thread found 0 valid title(s)

  6. ct
    Apr 22 2009

    Here is my file command output
    mak-chin-tos-computer:~/Desktop/MPEGAV ctmak$ ls -l
    total 9616
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 ctmak ctmak 4920428 Oct 16 2006 AVSEQ01.MPG
    mak-chin-tos-computer:~/Desktop/MPEGAV ctmak$ file *
    AVSEQ01.MPG: RIFF (little-endian) data, wrapped MPEG-1 (CDXA)
    mak-chin-tos-computer:~/Desktop/MPEGAV ctmak$

  7. ct
    Apr 22 2009

    May be the version problem
    My HandBrake is 0.9.1 since my Mac OS is 10.4.11. I can’t use 0.9.3 version

  8. CoolAJ86
    Feb 13 2010

    Since VCDs don’t use error correction in the same way that CDs do, it may be best to use ddrescue to get the disk image first, then try to import.

    sudo port install ddrescue
    sudo ddrescue -v /dev/disk1s0 my_vcd.dmg my_vcd.log

    Then you can try cleaning up the cd, playing with ddrescue’s options, and running the same command. You can also run the same command with an exact duplicate of the VCD if you have one. Each time it will only try to read the sectors that it hasn’t read previously.


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